Tuesday, June 24, 2014

From Ian:

Schools, embassies to mark flight of Jews from Arab lands and Iran
November 30 will be the national day to commemorate Jewish refugees from Arab lands and Iran, after a bill to that effect passed into law Monday night.
“Today, we have finally corrected an historic injustice and placed the issue of Jews who were expelled or pushed out of the Arab world in the last century on the national and international agenda,” MK Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beytenu) said. “In Israel, the history of the Jews who originally came from the Middle East or North Africa, who make up around half of the population, was ignored for too long.”
According to the new law, which passed into law with 27 in favor and none opposed, children in Israel will learn about the history of Jews of the Middle East and North Africa who, as Ohayon said "arrived long before the Islamic conquest and Arab occupation" of the region.
Israel Joins Paris Club of Rich Creditor Nations
Israel on Tuesday joined an influential group of rich nations that help poor indebted economies, giving the country an international boost of recognition for its economic accomplishments.
The news that Israel had been accepted into the Paris Club of creditor nations was welcomed by Israeli policy makers, who are facing calls to reduce high levels of poverty and inequality even as the country's economy hums along.
The Paris Club announced Israel's induction, bringing the club's membership to 20 countries. The club is an informal group of governments, including the United States, that collectively negotiate deals with poor countries struggling with huge debts. It was created in 1956 and has worked out loan deals for 90 countries.

Multiple Groups Defend Anti-Semitic Opera At The Met
After the Metropolitan Opera decided to cancel the live HD broadcast of the anti-Semitic opera The Death of Klinghoffer, a number of organizations have petitioned to have the broadcasts reinstated in the name of censorship. The National Coalition Against Censorship, Article 19, The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, Free Expression Policy Project, freeDimensional, Freemuse, International Committee for Artists’ Freedom, National Opera Association, PEN American Center issued a joint statement on June 19th attacking the Metropolitan Opera.
Campus Eviction Notices Are Fake, But Their Anti-Semitism Is Real, Experts Say
Over the last two years, the mock eviction notices have appeared on at least a dozen campuses around the U.S., garnering the most attention at major East Coast schools, including New York University (NYU), Northeastern University, and Harvard University.
The notices at NYU, slid under dorm room doors in April, falsely stated, “Palestinian homes are destroyed as part of the state of Israel’s ongoing attempts to ethnically cleanse the region of its Arab inhabitants and maintain an exclusively ‘Jewish’ character of the state.”
According to Tammi Rossman-Benjamin—a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz and co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative, an organization addressing campus anti-Semitism across the U.S.—the notices are not a criticism intended to “improve Israel as a modern state” or “legitimate criticism about settlements, the Likud government, or any particular aspect of Israeli policy,” as defenders of the mock evictions may claim. Rather, she said the notices are a fundamental “delegitimization of the very notion of the existence of the Jewish state.”
"Islamic and Arab Countries Fiddle While Syria Burns": David Singer on bully boy tactics against Australia regarding The O Word
Creating a second Arab State in Mandatory Palestine – in addition to Jordan – for the first time ever in recorded history remains an illusion after fruitless negotiations spanning the last 20 years.
Legal issues will determine final status issues – one essential legal prerequisite being secure and recognized borders for Israel demanded by Resolutions 242 and 338
The Palestine Liberation Organisation’s acceptance of the League of Nations and United Nations decisions recognising the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Mandatory Palestine remains another legal lynch pin to achieving Australia’s desired two-state solution.
Refusal to recognise the State of Israel by all 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has materially contributed to the 130-years-old Jewish-Arab conflict remaining unresolved.
Green games on East Jerusalem
ATTORNEY-GENERAL George Brandis would have been well advised to avoid getting himself involved in the issue of East Jerusalem. He fell for a trap set by the Greens and articulated to a Senate committee his legalistic view that the term “occupied territories” is “freighted with pejorative connotations” — preferring the word “disputed” — and in doing so, he has done the government no favours.
But Arab nations and Palestinian supporters should heed the assurances from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that there has been no change in the government’s position on the legal status of the Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem.
In 1993, when President Bill Clinton appointed Madeleine Albright his UN ambassador, she refused to use the loaded terminology of occupied territories. Since then there has been a tendency among many governments, while supporting all UN resolutions on the issue, to refer to the Palestinian Territories by their geographical names as East Jerusalem and the West Bank rather than larding them with the prefix “occupied.”
East Jerusalem and semantics
The clarifications made by the Attorney-General should allow all disputed issues to be discussed and negotiated.
This is consistent with Australia's treatment of other disputed territories around the world, with the Government opting to refer to them as "disputed" rather than occupied, seeking to avoid injecting more heat into bilateral hotspots.
For instance, following the recent trade agreement with Japan, Australia, while raising concerns regarding the territorial dispute between China and Japan over the islands referred to as both the Senkaku and Diaoyu Islands, avoided the use of inflammatory language so as to avoid either alienating or angering either side.
Use of language referring to the islands as "occupied" would not only have undermined trade and cooperation with either or both powers, but detracted from Australia's ability to communicate or mediate with China and Japan on this and other issues essential to trilateral relations.
Perhaps it is with this in mind that Brandis referred to the disputed territory of east Jerusalem.
British academic bigots and segregation in Gaza
Since September 2012, the curriculum in high schools for boys aged 15 to 17 has included an activity called “Al-Fatwa,” an activity involving military training and learning about weapons and first aid. More than 38,000 students have received such instruction. Indeed, from kindergarten on, children are being indoctrinated with Hamas ideology. A subject called “patriotic education” is a pseudonym for Palestinian armed struggle against Israel.
In Gaza, there are 690 schools with 466,000 students. In addition to those in public schools, there are 225,000 students in 245 schools run by UNRWA, but by a law drafted in 2013, those schools cannot receive donations “aimed at normalization of ties with the Zionist occupation.”
The unemployment rate among those aged 15-19 is more than 70 percent. In 2014, the Palestinian Authority anticipates a higher than expected budget deficit and a reduction in financial aid from donors. The World Bank has established the multi-donor Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank as the mechanism to provide assistance; it has channeled more than $1.18 billion since its inception to the PA.
Will the zealots of the UCU ever forego their bias and bigotry against Israel? Ann Blair, a senior lecturer at the University of Leeds, who has supported the mission of the delegation, included “women’s education" among her "aims and objectives.” Will she be gratified by the segregated schools she may, or may not, be shown in Gaza?
Presbyterian Church attacks the one Middle Eastern nation that protects Christians
Finally we turn to Hewlett Packard who supplies biometric scanners at Israeli checkpoints. These airport security style checkpoints exist to prevent terrorist attacks. It’s ironic that the reason HP got involved was because the Palestinians often complain passing through checkpoints can take hours. HP’s answer was to design technology that would speed up the process without endangering lives. That’s right, HP are helping the Palestinians. Yet the Presbyterians think they’re doing the Palestinians a favour by divesting from this technology.
The Presbyterian Church has taken a long time to reach their decision. Only a fool would think an article like this would change their mind. But other denominations and Christians across the world must wake up. BDS is anti peace. It singles out the only democracy in the Middle East for attack. Denominations must stop supporting this hateful ideology.
There is a tragic irony here. What kind of Church attacks the only Middle Eastern nation that guarantees the safety of Christians? The Presbyterian Church has been at pains to state their action of divestment has nothing to do with BDS. But talk is cheap. Their actions speak volumes. Aiding the mission of BDS is immoral and completely contrary to Christ’s teachings to love your neighbour. BDS are claiming Friday’s events as a great victory. It’s time for Christians to say enough is enough and support our Jewish brothers and sisters. Given our history, rejecting BDS really is the very least that we can do.
How JVP colluded with the U.S. Presbyterian Church
Several months ago, JVP ran a rather silly little campaign to “beat” AIPAC in the number of likes on its Facebook page. Using email blasts, social media and targeted ads on Facebook, they were able to increase their numbers. Glancing at their Facebook page, it appears they’ve achieved this milestone in their usual manner- through deceit and manipulation. Does anyone really believe “Joos for Palestine” or "Net Workdood" represent actual person?
There was a reason for the campaign. This group, which represents an outside fringe of American Jewry used its social media stats to gain credibility for its extremist views, and to bolster its claim that it speaks for the American Jewish Community.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

When the Rabbinical Council of the Jewish Voice for Peace penned an open letter supporting Presbyterian divestment. it had been signed by only 8 rabbis, 4 rabbinical students, and a cantor. Contrast that with the 1700 rabbis and cantors who signed the letter opposing divestment.
J Street decries Presbyterian divestment decision
Dovish pro-Israel lobby J Street joined a growing chorus of voices Monday castigating the decision of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to divest from three companies that provide supplies to Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank.
In a statement released Monday, the group said the move by the Presbyterians would not be helpful in the cause of peace.
Report: Levels On Which BDS Wrong Up 20% (satire)
Scientists at Tel Aviv University are reporting that the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement against Israel, already wrong on so many levels, has somehow increased the number of planes on which its activities and attitudes violate the principles of morality, honesty, and humanity.
Ostensibly a movement aimed at pressuring Israel to change its policies toward Palestinian residents of territories captured in 1967, the scientists note that in practice and rhetoric BDS functions as little more than another manifestation of vitriol aimed at undermining Israel’s very existence. That questionable expression of duplicity forms one part of the original constellation of wrongness on multiple levels, with the other main component the distorted notion that of all countries in the world against which to conduct such a campaign, BDS chooses the lone Middle East democracy in a sea of repressive dictatorships with appalling human rights records.
Belgium to spend $4m on Jewish institution security
The funding is part of the Belgian federal government’s plan to shoulder security costs for the Jewish community following the May 24 murder of four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in the capital’s center, the French-language daily Le Soir reported earlier this week.
The museum was one of the few Jewish institutions of the Belgian capital that did not have constant police protection.
Hate speech case against anti-Semitic comic dismissed
A French court dismissed a hate speech lawsuit against a comedian who, in a video, mocked the Holocaust and accused French Prime Minister Manuel Valls of supporting servitude to French Jews.
The Paris Tribunal for Grand Instances delivered its ruling on the lawsuit against Dieudonne M’bala M’bala on June 20, which concerned a video that the comedian posted on YouTube in April, the French broadcaster BFMTV reported.
While “capable of shocking and offending,” the judge wrote, “the video seeks to stigmatize and discredit Manuel Valls and to denounce the privileged status that he allegedly reserved for French Jews,” and “cannot justify severe limitations on freedom of expression.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Foxman: UN legitimizes anti-Semitism
Speaking at the Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem, Foxman said global anti-Semitism was at its worst level since World War II, though he stressed that it was by no means as grave as during that time. (The ADL last month published a survey of 102 countries that found about a quarter of the world’s population hold deeply anti-Semitic views; it also showed 74% of those in the Middle East and North Africa are anti-Semitic, with a staggering 93% finding among the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.)
Foxman said the overwhelming obsession with criticizing Israel inside the UN “gives legitimacy” to anti-Semitism. Criticism of Israel was legitimate, he said, but when critics single out Israel for obsessive criticism, rather than highlighting Israel among other targets, that skews into anti-Semitism. Broadly speaking, he went on, anti-Zionism constitutes anti-Semitism if Zionism is the only nationalism being opposed.
Turmoil and Global Anti-Semitism Boost Aliyah; Up 55 Percent
The Chairman of the The Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky announced on Monday that global aliyah (immigration to Israel) is up 55 percent, due largely to dramatic increases in immigration from France and Ukraine.
Speaking at the opening plenary of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors’ June meetings in Jerusalem, Sharansky announced that the Agency estimates French aliyah will surpass 5,000 individuals by the end of 2014, an all-time record and a full 1 percent of the 500,000 person French Jewish community. Never before has such a large proportion of a Western Jewish community made aliyah in a single year.
Adelsons pledge $25 million to Ariel University
Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson have pledged $25 million to Ariel University -- the biggest donation given to the school since its inception.
Some $5 million have been appropriated for the immediate development of the university's School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The additional $20 million will be allotted as approvals are received for the development of future academic programs in medical science.
Ariel University has some 14,000 students, 1,200 of whom are enrolled in its medical school, which includes physical therapy, speech therapy, nursing, nutrition, and health administration programs.
Israel’s economic impact on the US
The Honorary Chairman of the AMCHAM is US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro. In his remarks, he mentioned the fact that the very first free trade agreement that the US signed with any country was the United States-Israel Free Trade Agreement in 1985. He indicated that bilateral trade between the two countries is now at $40 billion annually and will probably top $45 billion for 2014.
That is an amazing statistic for a country with just eight million people, yet it does not tell the whole story. To complete the story, one must understand the additional economic impact of Israeli company operations in the US, both in benefits to the local economies and the number of jobs supported.
Michigan, Israel sign deal for economic projects
The deal signed Monday by Gov. Rick Snyder and Israel’s Midwest Consul General Roey Gilad calls for issuing a request for proposals from for-profit business collaborations between Michigan and Israeli companies.
Joint projects approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Israel Office of the Chief Scientist will receive an unspecified amount of government funding. The request for bids is expected to be issued by November.
Snyder says the deal is a “breakthrough opportunity,” and Gilad says he expects partnerships in cyber security, autos, defense and water technology.
Dayton seeks ties to Israel
Officials this week expect to sign a memorandum of understanding that will act as a formal agreement for future economic development between Ohio and Israel.
Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley said the deal could benefit the Miami Valley.
“The reason we’re interested in them is because they have a very strong aerospace industry. We believe the economic upside has real potential for Dayton companies,” Foley said.
Georgia governor visits Israel on trade mission
The delegation leaves Friday and will return the following Thursday.
Deal says he and other members of the delegation will be promoting Georgia and exploring opportunities for additional investments in the state by Israeli companies.
Deal says such trade missions can pay “huge dividends” in that companies decide where to move or to expand “based on feeling comfortable and knowing the leadership that is in place.”
Spike Jonze to attend Jerusalem film fest
Jonze, whose credits include the Academy Award-nominated films “Her” and “Being John Malkovich,” is known for his fantasy-infused comedy dramas. In addition to sharing some of his secrets of the trade with festival goers, he will also attend a special screening and party celebrating 15 years since “Being John Malkovich,” in which actor John Malkovich played a fictional version of himself, hit the screens.
Jonze, who is Jewish, was born Adam Spiegel in Rockville, Maryland.
The Jerusalem Film Festival will run July 10-20 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. This year marks the festival debut of its young new director, Noa Regev, 32, who is hoping to not only fill the shoes of recently retired longtime director Lia Van Leer but to revitalize the festival after a few bumpy years of donor feuds and administrative upheavals.

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